I was just reading with great interest about the volcano, Chaparrastique, that erupted in El Salvador's San Miguel region yesterday. From the article I read people within 3 kilometers were evacuated and most of the land affected was coffee fincas. Although any eruption is a huge event this one does not seem to be of catastrophic proportions. I would think that the most damage outside the 3 kilometer area would be ash. I also think that Honduras rather than San Salvador, the capital will have to contend with most off the ash produced. During my lifetime I have lived in areas around the world with active volcanoes. In the mid-60's I lived in the Philippine. Mt. Tail, south of Manila erupted. There was agriculture at its base also. There was some loss of life but mostly the ash. I was attending the U of Oregon when Mt. St. Helena erupted and finally I lived on Oahu when one of the 2 volcanoes on the Big Island erupted. We had ash and dark skies from that. I actually went to the Big Island a year or so after the event and went up onto the volcano I think it was '92., I can't remember if it was Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa. It was still smoking and there was an almost overpowering smell of sulfur. I think that Mt. Taal and Mt St. Helena are still classified as "active" , I know that Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are. The latter are part of a chain of volcanoes. The newest on in Hawaii is still deep in the sea but in the next 100,000 years there will be a new island formed,"Lao" south of the Big Island. Mt Chaparrastique is also part of a chain, 23 volcanoes in El Salvador and 28 in Nicaragua. I am not aware of volcanoes to the north or south although I do know that volcanoes form from shifts in the tectonic plates. My opinion, based on absolutely no scientific information, is that volcanoes in chains constantly emit gases thus reducing pressure build up and when they do erupt are not as devastating for such huge areas as Vesuvius or Krakatoa, the two most famous were.